VOLUME 41, NO. 5
Virginia Moore—We Will Miss You!
By Jayna Oakley
Virginia Moore really did live each day doing
whatever she could to make inclusiveness a priority. It was her passion.
She was, as many people have put it, “larger than life.” She was an
outsized personality with an outsized impact on the deaf and hard of
Virginia, who passed away on May 6 at age 61
after an extended stay in the hospital for heart surgery and complications
with her lungs and kidneys, crossed paths with thousands of people in her
decades of running and being the face of the Kentucky Commission on the
Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH).
Governor Andy Beshear said she was a “rock of
stability and grace during the pandemic.” She was in the hearts and homes
of Kentuckians twice a day during the peak of the pandemic and she left
people with a sense that everything would truly be ok and, yes, that we’d
all get through it together.
As a staff member, how do we express the amazing
essence and spirit of Virginia, her selfless generosity, uncompromising
belief in accessibility for all, and unwavering commitment to her family,
staff, friends, and the deaf and hard of hearing community? Words, even the
very best of words, cannot pay tribute or truly capture the sense of loss
we feel and will continue to feel for years to come.
The loss is here—tangible and real within each
of us—but Virginia exemplified life, love, laughter, and an irrepressible
belief and faith in seeing the best in everything, even loss, as she has
guided many of us through life’s toughest moments during our tenure at
So, today, and for days to come, we honor her by
profoundly feeling and expressing our loss, but also remembering Virginia
as an amazing leader, person, and friend who has played a unique and
special role in each of our lives.
We will miss you always Virginia.
Read Virginia’s obituary by clicking here.
is Better Speech and Hearing Month
With approximately 15% of American adults reporting difficulty
hearing, Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard
of Hearing (KCDHH) are encouraging people to learn the signs of hearing
loss—and to seek care during Better Hearing and Speech Month in May.
“We know that more than 700,000 Kentuckians of
all ages are experiencing some degree of hearing loss. We encourage people
to have a professional check their hearing and to also
protect their hearing from loud noises,” said Gov. Beshear.
Signs of hearing loss in adults include the
following difficulty following conversations, difficulty hearing in noisy
environments, hearing ringing, roaring or beeping in one or both ears,
failure to respond to spoken words, muffled hearing, constant frustration
hearing speech and other sounds, and avoidance of conversation.
If you are experiencing any of the signs above
or if you think you have hearing loss, see your doctor or a licensed
audiologist to assess the degree of your hearing loss, treat it and develop
a plan to prevent further loss. There are several assistive technologies
available through KCDHH’s Telecommunications Access Program (TAP) that can help you stay connected to emergency
information and health care providers.
Election May 16
Gov. Beshear reminded Kentuckians that the primary election will take
place Tuesday, May 16, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time. Kentuckians can
check with their local county clerk’s office or visit govoteky.com for places and times of voting in their area.
Following Natural Disasters
Gov. Beshear announced that beginning May 1, more than $123 million will
be available to communities impacted by the 2021 tornadoes in the West and
flooding in the East to build homes, rental properties and multifamily
rental properties. Applications can be completed by eligible cities,
counties, nonprofits, for-profits and other governmental entities. These
groups will be conducting public outreach to make sure they are meeting
housing needs in their impacted communities. For more information, click here.
Kentucky Hands & Voices Host SuperHEARo
5K May 20
Join Kentucky Hands & Voices for the 6th
annual SuperHEARo 5K at White Hall State Historic
Site, 500 White Hall Shrine Road in Richmond on May 20. The
1-Mile Fun Run (non-timed event) will take place at 9 a.m. followed by the
5K (a timed event) at 9:30 a.m. In addition to an in-person event at White
Hall State Historic Site, there will also be a virtual option you can join
from near or far! Participants are encouraged to dress up as their favorite
superhero. Packet pick-up will be available at Surge Screenprinting
on Friday, May 19 or prior to the race on Saturday beginning at 7:30am.
be given for top overall male and female finishers in the 5K, as well as
Best Dressed Male & Female Superheroes. There will also be a prize for
the Best Dressed Wonder Pet. Medals will be awarded for
the top three finishers in various age categories. To signup, click on the
DSA Conference June 24-30, Hollywood, FL
The Deaf Seniors of America’s biennial conference
provides educational sessions, activities, and great opportunities for
deaf senior citizens to connect with each other. Every conference is
hosted in a new city and region, providing members with the opportunity
to explore a new location each conference with
guided tours. This year’s conference is in Hollywood, Florida, at the
Hard Rock Casino Hotel, June 24-June 30, 2023. The conference committee
strives to provide an optimal, interactive environment for deaf senior citizens where full access is given for all. Anyone 50
and older may attend. For registration information, click here.
HLAA Convention in New Orleans, LA June
The Hearing Loss Association of American’s (HLAA)
2023 Convention is June 29 – July 1 in New Orleans, Louisiana! This
year’s convention in the “Big Easy” promises to be action packed with
educational workshops, demo presentations, an exhibit hall, social
events, and a research symposium. The keynote speaker for the general
session will be Dr. K. Renee Horton, who currently serves as the Space
Launch System (SLS) Quality Engineer in the NASA Residential Management
Office at Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans. She worked for NASA, first as a student
from 2009 to 2011, and then started her career as a mechanical test
engineer in 2012. Dr. Horton is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and lifelong lover of science and NASA. A graduate of
Louisiana State University with a B.S. of Electrical Engineering with a
minor in Math in 2002 and a Ph.D. in Material Science with a
concentration in Physics, becoming the first African American to graduate
from the University of Alabama in 2011 in this area. For more information
and to register, click here.
Deaf Women United Opens 2023 Conference Registration
Deaf Women United has opened registration for the 2023 conference
that will be held in Chicago, July 26 to July 30. The early-bird
rate is available through February 28. For more information, click
National Black Deaf Advocates
Conference, August 8-13
The National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA) conference,
“Reconnecting to Thrive Together: Reconnect, Recharge, Thrive!”
is set for August 8-13 at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel in Alabama. All
diverse people including deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing, hearing,
educators, professionals, federal employees, veterans, senior citizens,
parents, activists, CODAs, students, recent graduates, service providers,
interpreters, allies, and more are welcome to attend. For registration
information, click here.
ALDAcon 2023 Conference Date Change to Oct.
30 - Nov. 3
Due to unforeseen circumstances with the host hotel’s renovation
project, the Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA) Conference
Planners and the ALDA Board exhausted all viable options and made the
tough decision to shift our dates. Originally planned for Nov. 1-5, 2023,
ALDAcon will now take place Oct. 30-Nov. 3,
2023. For hotel refunds and more information, visit here.
Easy It Is to Use Hamilton Mobile CapTel
about how easy it is to use the all-new Hamilton Mobile™ CapTel® app for iOS? Check out a short video here that shows some of the most popular and useful features of this
user-friendly Captioned Telephone app.
Sorenson Interpreting for Zoom
You now have better solutions for inviting a Sorenson
interpreter into your virtual meetings to make using Zoom for deaf and
hearing collaboration better than ever.
You may have used Video Relay Services (VRS) for your Zoom
meetings before—but not like this. Sorenson’s first-of-its-kind solution
for Zoom VRS enables you to invite their highly skilled American Sign
Language (ASL) interpreters directly into your Zoom call so you can see
everything on one screen—and so can everyone else. Sorenson for Zoom
improves multilingual support and collaboration for deaf and hearing
connections. Read more here.
Technology Lauches New Product
Safewave’s smart wristband connects via Bluetooth to fire alarms, Ring
cameras and security devices — essentially turning any notification or
alert into a vibration. The company's initial product targets those who
are deaf or hard of hearing but future generations
will cater to those with dementia, Alzheimer’s and special needs. Read
PLEASE VISIT KCDHH’S
IF YOU HAVE AN EVENT
YOU’D LIKE TO LIST
ON THE CALENDAR,
PLEASE EMAIL US AT:
COVID-19 Vaccine Resources
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
What You Should
Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO
Kentucky Governor News
The official Team Kentucky source for Vaccine
Kentucky Registry of Vaccine Location
KCDHH COVID-19/Vaccine Important Links for Deaf and Hard of
For those who have deaf family members who use sign language,
consider downloading Sorenson Wavello and/or the ZVRS Sivo app on your smartphone. This app makes
it possible for you to see your loved ones on your screen next to your
Other KCDHH Resources:
Access Program (TAP)
Landline or wireless equipment for
Kentucky residents who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired, or
have both a hearing and vision loss.